OnlineRock Blog

29 August 2011

Long Beach Buskerfest Recap, Wishing We Had More Wooden Nickels

By Nancy Woo

Musicians hanging out on the cusp right between stardom and their mother's basement may be familiar with the act of busking - or, playing on the street for money. It's a great way to get yourself heard, and fed. Don't knock it 'til you try it!

This past Saturday in the East Arts Village of Long Beach, CA, busking hit a new high as eleven musical artists competed in the Summer and Music's third annual Buskerfest. The bands or single musicians played on makeshift stages where the true art of busking was reenacted - they weren't allowed any electrical plug-ins, so they really were playing it true on the street. Some got creative with battery-powered hip amps, some got the attention of the audience with vigorous stomping and some just projected surprisingly well. The audience members each got six wooden nickels to throw in the bags of the musicians they liked the best, and the buskers with the most coins at the end won a free vinyl recording at a Long Beach recording studio.

  Supa fun time!

Buskerfest Winner:

So, as sad as we are to have run out of wooden nickels, we want to congratulate the winners of Buskerfest - Wild Pack of Canaries. The people have spoken - the best buskers of the bunch! Now that is some street talent. Unfortunately, I actually missed their performance, but you can check them out online and listen to some tunes at their Myspace page.

They were definitely one of the bands who seemed most interesting, judging by the psychedelic bossa nova-esque songs on their Myspace. They put a fun and unique spin on indie, mixing clashing cymbals with spiraling keyboards and emphatic drums on wavering vocals. The background sounds of swirling and swimming instruments really draw me in. Check them out. And look out for their special vinyl edition of their record In the Parian Flesh out January 2012. You can also see them on Facebook.

Wild Pack of Canaries in the wild of Long Beach.

Honorary Mentions:

1.  Seth Petterson

My personal favorite of the bunch is this guy here, Seth Petterson, who makes some ultra fun surf rock/skate party music that has the perfect blend of catchy grooves and chill psychedelics. 

Seth Petterson in the peaceful glow of the Golden Hour.

Please do yourself a favor and visit his website, where you can listen to a few of the songs. Check out my fave, Baby Buddha! We voted for you, Seth!

2. The VooDuo

In addition to the clever name, this male-female partnership of two rocking badasses make some awesome punkish rockabilly, complete with the leopard print vest and leather stylings. Man, were they rocking it out, the female half of it banging on the drums with the male half of it singing and screaming his lungs out and ripping it up on the guitar. I was impressed by this performance. Listen to their songs from their Myspace, especially the vampire goth song "Drink Your Blood."

You should see the Halloween pics! These two take "dress to impress" to a new (awesome) level.

3. Two Guns

Definitely drawing a crowd with their hip amps and xylophone player, Two Guns put on a fun show playing some easy to get into, interactive pop indie songs, including covers of Buddy Holly and Canned Heat toward the end (always a crowd-pleaser). "Going Down the Country" convinced me to give them a couple of my nickels! Listen to them from their Myspace page.

I don't see any guns...Two Guns.
Thanks to Summer and Music for hosting the 3rd annual Long Beach Buskerfest and giving out the wooden nickels so we could vote! Can't wait 'til next year!

P.S. Last year, Tijuana Panthers played (we featured them on our Top 6 Surf Rock Beach Videos) and they're gaining traction, including playing at the L.A. FYFest coming up September 3rd, so I wonder where we'll see these busking bands next year... and we didn't get to catch all the performances, so I'm sure there were some other good ones out there that day.

Good luck to all the buskers out there!

26 August 2011

Free Music Friday - August 26, 2011

Welcome to the very last rendition of Free Music Fridays for the month of August in the year of 2011. August 2011 will never happen again, and neither will this wonderful playlist, so to go out with a bang, we've got one last STUPENDOUS handful of hand-picked songs to send your way before ushering you into the grand old month of September. This is really a great playlist with some truly unique and talented musicians from varying genres, so I hope everyone can find at least one song they like.

1.  Debbie Neigher - Self-titled EP (from Bandcamp)

This week, I'm featuring an album from Debbie Neigher, an artist I featured in my July 15th podcast. Her self-titled album is full of smart, catchy piano pop that's sure to strike your fancy if you're a fan of artists like Nellie McKay, Ben Folds or Regina Spektor. The album was produced by John Vanderslice and is available at any price (including free) on Bandcamp.

-Contributed by "The Podcast Guy," Andrew McNair

2. Saadi - "Take It Easy" (click to stream or right click to save as)

This one will really help you relax and shed the cares of the world. It's a straight up feel good reggae-driven light and upbeat dance tune. The name of the track doesn't disappoint, and by the end you will feel a little lighter on your feet, I can fairly guarantee. If only this track could play automatically during any moment of high stress, the troubles would all float away and leave you with a peaceful smile. For more of this Syrian-turned-synth queen, catch the Take It Easy EP off Red Bud Records, released yesterday, from iTunes or Bandcamp.

3. Miracles of Modern Science - "Eating Me Alive" (link to secure download)

Ooh, now here's a must-listen blend of classic stringed instruments with modern clapping rock sounds, all woven together with slightly melancholy vocals, without a guitar in sight. This is a combination of truly astounding elements that will make you tilt your head in wonder, from the steady intro to the building crescendo to the dutiful breakdown, straight on through to the full-force ending. With a great acronym, MOMS, these guys use only mandolin, violin, cello, standup bass and drums to explode the rock in your ear. Seriously, listen for a real treat, and follow these fine folks at

4. The Reminding Ideas - "Vegetables" (click to listen or right click to save as)

If you have an itch for a certain style of "sounds like the universe" heavier rock with dark, melodic undertones, this band will satisfy that craving. With a steady rhythm that undulates underneath vocals reminiscent of She Wants Revenge and Incubus, The Reminding Ideas are, according to one half of the band, Matt Soule, “ultimately about the Universe, and emotions in the universe." You'll want to listen to this one, and remember to watch for their debut LP House of Weather out October 18, 2011 from Orangehand Records. Get more info from their website.

5. The Human League - "Night People" (click to listen or right click to save as)

Let's end with a song to pump you up before you head out into the neon glory of the night, ready to dance or otherwise get a little crazy. This glorious electronic, heavy bass-driven 80s-esque dance song accompanies black lights and drinks perfectly. A steady beat and a bit of reverb makes this song shine as bright as any dancefloor mix. Don your shiny shoes and do a little bit of moving. These guys have been around a while, so they're worth following at

See you all in September for another month of up-and-coming free music!

Splendiferously yours,
Nancy Woo

25 August 2011

Must-See Live Performance of Ben Sollee's "Electrified"

By Nancy Woo

This live performance by vocalist and cellist Ben Sollee and his rock orchestra is so unique and captivating that I feel the need to spread it as far as possible. It's a deep, soulful kind of need that wells up from the inside and won't let me sleep until it's taken care of.

Even if this isn't your style of music, I can confidently guarantee that you've never heard anything quite like it before. Ben Sollee is a fairly amazing fellow in his own right, from his genre-bending tendencies to percussive style and political activism, and that becomes apparent from only a few seconds of watching this video - which then easily turns into minutes because the performance possesses that compelling brand of originality that is so refreshing to find. Enough of me talking, just watch the video of "Electrified" from a live performance filmed in June 2011 and see for yourself:

What did you think? Different, huh? Were you electrified? Well, if you were and this performance just started an itch inside of you to see what else this inventive artist has in store, you can listen to the whole Inclusions album from Bandcamp (and buy it for $10) or stay updated at the Ben Sollee website.

Fresh and original? You bet.

24 August 2011

New Florence and the Machine Music Video

By Nancy Woo

Following the multi-million selling, multi-award winning debut break-through album Lungs, Florence and the Machine has announced the release date of their sophomore album along with a music video of the first single.

English singer and songwriter Florence Welch.

The as yet untitled album is set to land November 7, 2011. The first song released is called "What the Water Gave Me," and you can watch the video here. It's quite powerful vocally and possesses an uplifting orchestral feeling of great magnitude.

“It’s a song for the water...” says Florence; “Because in music and art what I’m really interested in are the things that are overwhelming. The ocean seems to me to be nature’s great overwhelmer. When I was writing this song I was thinking a lot about all those people who’ve lost their lives in vain attempts to save their loved ones from drowning. It’s about water in all forms and all bodies. It’s about a lot of things; Virginia Woolf creeps into it, and of course Frieda Kahlo, whose painfully beautiful painting gave me the title.”

Hailed by many as a true artist of soul, Florence Welch recorded the album over five weeks in the famous Studio 3 of Abbey Road (where the Beatles recorded ‘Revolver’ and Pink Floyd ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’) with producer Paul Epworth. That seems quite appropriate for the artist of a new type of 60s appeal.

Buy the single for iTunes from this website or stay connected with Florence and the Machine at their Facebook.

22 August 2011

Album You Need to Download by Little Shalimar

By Nancy Woo

Okay. Rarely is news so pressing and important as this, but when a musical artist appears on the scene so dynamic, fresh, intriguing and compelling as Little Shalimar, it is only appropriate we herald the apparition with ringing bells and multi-colored streamers and dancing ladies - as much as we can on our little corner of the web universe, that is. But by all means, you will be dancing and streaming to this album that I am making such a fuss about: It's called
The New Pneumonia Blues by the funkalicious solo artist Little Shalimar.

I couldn't agree more with the description that
The New Pneumonia Blues is a "genre-defying pop album that will rock you like the Black Keys, groove you like the Dap Kings, and crack you up like Ween (sometimes all at once), with a sound that's at once both retro and decidedly 'now.'"

Almost like a tickling blend of the best of southern funk, urban Beck and new electronic experimental beats, with a slight hint of Native American chants, crazy punk, guitar shredding and Beat poetry, this is an album that truly defies genres and offers the world a never-before-heard diamond sparkling with so many facets you have to listen to it to understand.

The reason for the urgency is because the album is offered for free today, August 22, 2011, from to celebrate the release date, and I really want everyone to download it. However, no big deal if you miss the window of free (not exactly sure how long it lasts) because you can stream it or buy for only $8 from Bandcamp, and this is an artist worth supporting. He's the type of artist who makes you scratch your head, move your hips and wonder, what exactly will he come up with next?

Interestingly, the entire album was conceived by Little Shalimar, aka Torbitt Schwartz, the drummer of a band called Chin Chin, during the winter of 2010 while he was bedridden with pneumonia. Who knew that illness was the key to dynamic, eclectic, accomplished music making? Little Shalimar brings some Brooklyn style to the world with this debut solo EP, and will surely impress fans of fun, odd, constantly grooving original music. Especially recommended if you like Dr. John, Can, Tom Tom Club, Jimi Hendrix, and Gnarls Barkley.

No more to be said. Download it now!

Or get more Little Shalimar.

19 August 2011

Free Music Friday - August 19, 2011

What a beautiful Friday. And what a beautiful thing it is to be able to count on a handful of free songs every Friday from Online Rock. Let's get right down to business and get you rolling with some awesome new music.


1. Adios Amigo - Adios Amigo EP

This week, I've found an EP released a few weeks ago by San Francisco band, Adios Amigo. Starting off with a rollicking instrumental track, the rest of the self-titled EP continues to slow down as it progresses with a dose of mid-tempo jangle-pop and guitar work that sounds reminiscent of Red House Painters or The Sea and Cake. Each successive track feels mellower than the last: a good EP for the setting sun.

-Contributed by eclectic music personality Andrew McNair

2. Cameras - "I Know"

Cameras is a trio from Syndey, Australia that has created a sound simultaneously light and dark, atmospheric and haunting. This song, "I Know," which features some beautifully ethereal piano, is a sneak preview of their forthcoming debut LP In Your Room out October 25th via Manimal Vinyl, the same label as Warpaint, Bat For Lashes and papercranes. Stay tuned at

3. John Steel Singers - "Rainbow Kraut" (right click to save as)

We've got some infectious melodies, falsettos, and sky-high harmonies in this song, not to mention a heralding of trumpets with some other optimistic instrumentation. The John Steel Singers will be releasing their debut album Tangalooma very soon, so watch for it from

4. Carrie Clark & The Lonesome Lovers - "Bum Bah Dum" (right click to save as)

Infused with classic country crooning, astute observation and soulfulness, this song exemplifies Carrie Clark's wide diversity in styles. From her forthcoming debut album Between the Bed Sheets and Turpentine, Clark ranges from country to surging rock to music hall numbers and jazz. Listen for more at

5. Icarus Himself - "On Your Side" (right click to save as)

Perhaps saving the best for last, this song is a true pleasure, a delightful ocean-lulling lullaby, both hypnotic and dreamy. Icarus Himself’s sophomore full-length album Career Culture is a sonic cinema in electro-psych-folk, drenched in the influences of artists like Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, The Who, and David Bowie, truly worth a listen and out October 11th from Science of Sound records. Stay tuned at

And once again, thanks for your attention. Hope you picked up something you enjoy.

-Nancy Woo

18 August 2011

Stream The Bandana Splits Debut Album For Free

By Nancy Woo
We offered a free download of the song "Sometimes" by the Motown-inspired three-piece outfit called the Bandana Splits as a part of our Free Music Fridays, and we are now so pleased to follow up with the full album, called Mr. Sam Presents The Bandana Splits. It is now available to stream in full and for free from AOL Music.

Click here to stream the album for free.

So if you're in the mood for some simple doo-wop malt-shop oldies and vocal harmonies, go ahead and plug in for 13 song-long trip back to the days of diners and roller skates. I'm digging "Desert Rose," "Choo Choo," "Stay if You Wanna" and "Baby Talkin'." Actually, the whole thing is pretty good. There's a bit of a Hawaiian luau vibe toward the end of the album.

If you like it:

Hey, I'm loving it, but it's too bad that the full streaming album didn't also come with a frothy milkshake delivered straight to your door.


If you're on the East Coast, check out some of their live shows:

The Bandana Splits Summer Tour Dates

8/18 - Boston, MA @ The Lizard Lounge
8/27 - Portland, ME @ PICNIC Music and Arts Festival
8/31 - New York, NY @ Piano's
8/24 - Huntington, NY @ Last Licks Cafe
9/20 - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2

16 August 2011

Blue October's new album "Any Man in America" Out Today, 3.99 from Amazon

By Nancy Woo

Happy release day, Blue October!

Platinum-selling progressive/alternative rock band Blue October has a new album out today, Tuesday August 16th, about 14 years after lead singer, songwriter and guitarist Justin Furstenfeld gave birth to the band in 1995. This sixth studio album by Blue October is called Any Man in America and I am really excited to tell you, if you are interested, there are two ways to listen:

1) You can stream the entire album FOR FREE from AOL Music. All 13 tracks are available for your audiophiliac pleasure.

2) If you like the album, has a special offer today only: Buy the album in MP3 form for only $3.99. That's less than a Subway sandwich, folks. But if you're the hesitant type, just remember it's the "Deal of the Day" and tomorrow it won't be.

Plus, as a bonus treat, here is the music video for the sixth song from the new album and the first single, "The Chills":

A description of the album from the press release:

From the sentimental opener "Feel Again" to the hopeful last track, "The Follow Through," Any Man In America is an album that takes the listener on a cathartic journey and chronicles the deeply personal events that have transpired in singer Justin Furstenfeld's life since their last release. The album was produced by Furstenfeld, who produced the band's platinum album, Foiled, together with Tim Palmer, who has produced and mixed for Robert Plant, Pearl Jam, and U2.

If you're loving Blue October, catch them on tour as they promote the new album, beginning in their home state of Texas on August 17th and ending in Atlanta, Georgia on October 20th.


WED, 17 AUG 2011 | House Of Blues |Dallas, TX
THU, 18 AUG 2011 | House Of Blues | Dallas, TX
FRI, 19 AUG 2011 | Stubbs | Austin, TX
SUN, 21 AUG 2011 | House of Blues | Houston, TX
MON, 22 AUG 2011 | House of Blues | Houston, TX
THU, 08 SEP 2011 | The Foundry | Phoenix, AZ
FRI, 09 SEP 2011 | House Of Blues | Las Vegas, NV
SAT, 10 SEP 2011 | House Of Blues | West Hollywood, CA
SUN, 11 SEP 2011 | House Of Blues | Anaheim, CA
TUE, 13 SEP 2011 | House Of Blues | San Diego, CA
THU, 15 SEP 2011 | Knitting Factory | Reno, NV
FRI, 16 SEP 2011 | The Regency Ballroom | San Francisco, CA
SAT, 17 SEP 2011 | Roseland Theater | Portland, OR
SUN, 18 SEP 2011 | Showbox | Seattle, WA
TUE, 20 SEP 2011 | The Wilma Theatre | Missoula, MT
WED, 21 SEP 2011 | Knitting Factory | Spokane, WA
THU, 22 SEP 2011 | Knitting Factory | Boise, ID
FRI, 23 SEP 2011 | In The Venue | West Salt Lake City, UT
SUN, 25 SEP 2011 | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO
WED, 28 SEP 2011 | Hoyt Sherman Place | Des Moines, IA
THU, 29 SEP 2011 | Fine Line Music Cafe | Minneapolis, MN
FRI, 30 SEP 2011 | Crossroads | Kansas City, MO
SAT, 01 OCT 2011| The Pageant | St. Louis, MO
THU, 06 OCT 2011 | Cains Ballroom | Tulsa, OK
FRI, 07 OCT 2011 | Mid-America Center | Council Bluffs, IA
SAT, 08 OCT 2011 | House of Blues | Chicago, IL
SUN, 09 OCT 2011 | House of Blues | Cleveland, OH
WED, 12 OCT 2011 | Royal Oak Music Theatre | Royal Oak, MI
THU, 13 OCT 2011 | Tower Theatre | Upper Darby, PA
FRI, 14 OCT 2011 | The Fillmore | Silver Spring, MD
SAT, 15 OCT 2011 | Webster Hall | New York, NY
SUN, 16 OCT 2011 | Water Street Music Hall | Rochester, NY
MON, 17 OCT 2011 | House of Blues | Boston, MA
WED, 19 OCT 2011 | The Fillmore | Charlotte, NC
THU, 20 OCT 2011 | The Buckhead Theatre | Atlanta, GA
FRI, 21 OCT 2011 | House of Blues | New Orleans, LA

I'm personally loving #5, "Drama Everything." Streaming online for free is terribly magnificent, don't you think?

Get more Blue October from their website.

12 August 2011

Free Music Friday at Online Rock - August 12, 2011

Hayyyyyyaaaa! Thank G. it's Friday because we've got some awesome music for your weekend. Again, it's a whole handful of tunes rather than one lonely little melody, so read on for a non-genre driven medley of free downloads.

A Handful of Hand-picked Downloads
1. Bill Ryder-Jones - A Taking Leave Soundtrack

When I first listened to Bill Ryder-Jones's new EP, A Taking Leave Soundtrack, I was impressed by the desolation and loneliness of the music (all four songs instrumentals). I was taken completely by surprise, then, when I found out that Ryder-Jones is only 28 (and formerly the guitarist for The Coral). His music sounds like it comes from a more older, more world-weary person. You'll have to hand over your email address to get on his mailing list to download the EP, but given what this sounds like (spare, melancholy, beautifu l) and what his upcoming album is going to be (apparently based on Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveler …), you'll look forward to news from Bill Ryder-Jones.

-Contributed by free music expert Andrew McNair

2. Tom Morello - "It Begins Tonight" (click to stream or right click to save as) 

Okay, hard rock and alternative rock fans, just in case you think Online Rock is getting a touch too soft, we've got a hair-ripping, super pumped-up song for you from "the Nightwatchman" Tom Morello, who has 14 studio albums under his belt. Listen to this heavy bar-fight song that will certainly alert you to the fact that something is begi nning tonight, and watch out for his new album World Wide Rebel Songs out August 15th via New West Records. Morello said of the new album, "I wanted to capture a vibe midway between Johnny Cash and Che Guevara, murder ballads and Molotov anthems." Stay informed here.

3. Dominant Legs - "Hoop of Love" (via Stereogum)

Let yourself love what you love: the idea is simple and yet the act is deceivingly hard. Nevertheless, when you are in the presence of Ryan William Lynch, songwriter, guitarist and lead vocalist for San Francisco's Dominant Legs, you know without question that he has done just that. And he's asking you to join him. I can almost guarantee that you will love "Hoop of Love," so infectious and full of bursting happy feelings is it. Dominant Legs' pop songs are culled from the textures of past decades, but with a classic songwriting approach, shot through with addictive synth melodies and vocal harmonies. Get more from their Facebook!

4. Correatown - "Isomer" (via Paste Magazine)

Eerie and melodic, this is a brand new song from the band's forthcoming sophomore full length Pleiades, due out September 20th via the band's own label Another Room Recordings. This track is a synth-studded dream, illuminated by singer Angela Correa's unadulterated vocals and dreamy, surreal otherworldly execution. Wait 'til you get halfway through, too, for a haunting surprise.

5. The Black Angels - "Yellow Elevator #2" (via

We gave you a little preview of the neo-psychedelic Black Angels' new album Phosphene Dream and subsequent tour dates earlier this month, but now we can happily follow up by offering a free download of this song, which is the third track off the new CD. Satisfying trippy, with cymbals clashing, guitars plucking and dreamy vocals weaving upside down and inside out throughout, I recommend taking a journey on the second yellow elevator.

6. The Dirty Pearls - "Static" (Stream or download)

Emerging from Manhattan’s lower east side, The Dirty Pearls have charged head first into the music scene with electric guitars, bass, drums, and soaring vocals. The band taps into the roots of rock and roll music and uses the grunge and grime of New York City’s nightlife to further inspire their sound, which has been compared to the New York Dolls, JET, and Andrew WK. Their new LP Whether You Like It Or Not drops in January 2012 on Rivington Records, so bookmark the Dirty Pearls website.

That's all. Thanks for "tuning" in, see ya next time!

-Musically yours, Nancy Woo

10 August 2011

Byrds bassist John York and Kim Fowley Collaborate on 'West Coast Revelation' Album

By Nancy Woo

Petaluma-based Global Recording Artists has just released a new CD, West Coast Revelation, which is a meeting of giants with music written and performed by former Byrds member John York and lyrics by legendary rock & roll lyricist/ producer Kim Fowley.

Though John York only played bass for the Byrds for two years, 1968 and 1969, his work appeared on Dr. Byrds and Mr. Hyde and Ballad of Easy Rider, and the band was one of the most influential of the times. He has also worked with musical acts such as the Sir Douglas Quintet, The Mamas and the Papas and Johhny Rivers.

Kim Fowley, on the same hand, is a dynamic music producer, songwriter, film maker and radio actor who wrote many cult rock pop songs of the 60s, like "Alley Oop," which reached # 1 on the charts in 1960 and was credited to the non-existent band The Hollywood Argyles. How's that for tricky.

After John left the Byrds, Kim Fowley stepped in to write songs for the band with bassist Skip Battin. As rare survivors of one of the most tumultuous and exciting periods in rock 'n' roll history, these two have come together now to write, sing, play, produce and share interviews with their brand new CD West Coast Revelation. It tells the story of the 60s, a time of unparalleled creativity, through songs and conversations with the kind of veracity that can only be told by those who have lived through it.

Kim, the legendary wild-eyed prophet, gave momentum to the revelation while John York became its gentle musical craftsman; a skilled artisan. From Alley-Oop to The Byrds, they helped shape and form the times, unseen, sometimes unwashed and unnoticed. This is their chance to tell it all from the driver's seat, meanwhile creating new and original songs together that capture the essence of the Silver 60s but refuse to be bound by it.

For those of you who lived through the 60s delighted and starry-eyed, as well as those of you who only wished you did, West Coast Revelation sounds like a must-have. Listen to a sneak peek from Amazon if you want before you buy it.

09 August 2011

Intimate, striking music video "Atlas Hands" by Benjamin Francis Leftwich

By Nancy Woo

Benjamin Francis Leftwich. That name is quite a mouthful, not necessarily the catchy/quirky/clever monikers of some of these LA/Portland/big city everyday Joes-turned-college radio sensations. That may be because Benjamin Francis Leftwich is not from any U.S. big city - he's from York across the pond - and his songwriting tends to be achingly genuine, perhaps reflected in his decision to keep his real, though hefty, name. What you hear is what you get.

Now, I'd like to feature this new video by Benjamin Francis Leftwich called "Atlas Hands" because not only is the song nostalgically melodic and beautiful, the video is a perfect complement to the feeling of the song, intimate, tender and a little bittersweet. Plus, the photography is a visual treat and conceptually, it all fits together like two hands lovingly clasped. It's like a dreamscape we've all been to before.

Watch it here:

"Atlas Hands" recently won the BBC6 Music Rebel Playlist, and the single is going to be released September 4, 2011 off the label Dirty Hit.

However, if you love it, check out Leftwich's debut album last smoke before the snowstorm, available through different avenues from the songwriter's website, which also has some other great information. It was released July 4, 2011.

So, again with that touching sincerity I mentioned earlier, here is Leftwich's latest Tweet, worth sharing:

For all the craziness in the world there's always lots of good! Keep listening to good music and smiling and having fun. ALWAYS.x x

Sounds like a stand up fellow, and a lovely songwriter to boot. Maybe he should enter the International Songwriting Competition. Open to all. Thanks for listening.

08 August 2011

Pre-order Blitzen Trapper's "American Goldwing" album or fall tour tickets for a wonderful mess of goodies

By Nancy Woo

Portland, OR-based gentle, woodsy alt-folk band Blitzen Trapper.

That's right, after about seven successful years and six studio albums, Blitzen Trapper is set to release another full-length album September 13th, 2011. The lucky news for Blitzen Trapper fans is that you can pre-order American Goldwing from

If you do that, you have your options of ordering it in CD form or digital download, and for the vinyl-heads out there, limited supplies of black vinyl and white vinyl are available for your pleasure. Plus, when you pre-order, you'll be given special access to stream the entire album online starting August 16th. Sounds like Blitzen Trapper really want to please their fans. I can get behind that.

And we're not done yet. You can also pre-order a limited amount of tickets to Blitzen Trapper's fall tour from the website. The five-piece alternative folk sensation will be traveling with the band Dawes from L.A., who have been called by Rolling Stone "authentically vintage."

Crooningly acoustic folk band Dawes.

Ordering from that website will generously include all the parking, facility fees and ticketing fees for the show, AND you will receive an instant download of the 6-track Blitzen Trapper/Dawes tour EP. Okay, I'm not even done listing the goodies in this package. If you order from the site, you can add a special tour t-shirt that will not be available at the show. Why not go VIP all the way, huh?

The general on-sale tickets will be available at most ticketing outlets starting August 12th, but geez, why do that, when you can load up on all the fanware you could possibly want for this tour?


10/7 Petaluma, CA - Mystic Theatre
10/8 Santa Barbara, CA - SoHo
10/9 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
10/10 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
10/11 Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Sol Live
10/13 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
10/14 Utopia, TX - Utopia Fest
10/15 Baton Rouge, LA - Manship Theatre
10/18 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
10/19 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10/20 Louisville, KY - Headliner's
10/21 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
10/22 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
10/24 Washington, DC - Black Cat
10/26 New York, NY - Webster Hall
10/27 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
10/28 Boston, MA - Royale
10/30 Toronto, Ontario - Opera House
11/1 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
11/2 Grand Rapids, MI - Calvin College
11/3 Chicago, IL - The Metro
11/4 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
11/5 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
11/7 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
11/10 Vancouver, British Columbia - Rickshaw Theatre
11/11 Seattle, WA - The Neptune
11/13 Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre
11/15 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore

Smoke Fairies open 10/7 – 10/26 (except 10/24)
Belle Brigade opens 10/7-10/27 – 11/15 (except 11/4)

05 August 2011

Free Music Friday at Online Rock - August 5

Fridays have just gotten even better because we've decided to give away a whole handful of free music downloads rather than just one. And we picked them ourselves so we think they're worth sharing. Except for the first one, click to stream or right click to "save as." Then, determine whether you enjoy, and if so, enjoy!

A Handful of Hand-Picked Downloads

1. The Capstan Shafts - Kind Empires

Kind Empires is 14 tracks of noisy, upbeat, melodic lo-fi garage rock, none of them too much longer than two-minutes (and some significantly shorter). In the spirit of The Capstan Shafts, I'll keep this brief as well. As I listen to catchy hook after catchy hook, all I can think of is how Dean Wells, the man behind The Capstan Shafts, reminds me of Robert Pollard. This album is full of gems. It's available for any price (you can name yours: even $0 is completely kosher). But you might feel inclined to toss a few dollars his way after listening to this. -Contributed by our resident podcast putter-together Andrew McNair

2. The Bandana Splits - "Sometimes"

These spirited Brooklyn power pop girls debut some groovy 3-part harmonies off their first album called, adorably, Mr Sam Presents The Bandana Splits, out August 18th via Boy Scout Recordings. Grab a milkshake and get flirty with their Motown grooves infused with a bit of Brazilian psychedelia and a tasteful dash of classic country schmaltz.

3. Mikal Cronin - "Get Along"

Produced by long-time friend Ty Segall and joined by friends like Thee Oh Sees' John Dwyer and Charlie Moonheart, OC-native Mikal Cronin starts a promising career with whimsical psychedelics, tasteful layering and crafty hooks in this song that pulls you in like a fish on a hook. You can anticipate his self-titled debut album out September 20th off Trouble in Mind Records.

4. The Rs - "Mr. Hide"

Hailing from northern Italy, the Rs give off a vibe of West Coast classic psychedelia, British mod, and Elephant 6-evocative twee psych all rolled into one. They're a fun bunch, or so it seems. Their debut album De Fauna Et Flora will be out later this year, so stay tuned to their website.

5. Rodney Parker and 50 Peso Reward - "Skin and Bones"

Heartfelt, aching and genuine, powered by Rodney Parker's compelling vocals and an intimate banjo, this acoustic country roots song possesses that rare, special little something that tends to hide in corners waiting for the right moment to emerge. It's off an album that was recorded in the Texas band's home for a tight-knit audience of 30 people, released on the Live in the Living Room album.

What, we're at the end already? Pout. But thanks for joining! See you next week. -Nancy Woo

04 August 2011

It's the Biggest Sale of the Year at Musician's Friend

By Nancy Woo

August is the luckiest month for anyone looking to buy some new musical equipment because it's a BIG Sale! Up To 87% Off! Discounts, Rebates, Gifts & More! Free Shipping @ Musician's Friend. Exp. 8/31/2011. Musician's Friend is an valuable online resource for any wielder of instruments. Out of an already deal-beating 12 months, this is the time to really investigate some of those hot specials you've been saving up for.

Now's the time. Check it out: you can get up to 87% off music merchandise, like Mackie amps, Gibson guitars and "ddrum" drum sets.

87% off?? That's practically free! That means you're only paying 13% for your prized instrument! I don't know about you, but I'm under the impression starving artists like you could use that 87% you're saving on musical equipment for other extraneous things like, say, food and clothes. So go buy that new guitar you've been saving your pennies for, and then grab a hot meal!!

Remember how Mom always told you to finish your dinner before running into the garage to bang on the drums?
Well, you don't have to listen to her now, you independent person you, but you still gotta eat sometime.

In addition to some sweat-breaking deals, Musician's Friend has some other ultra-friendly offers, like coupon rebates, free gifts with certain items, and free shipping for just about everything. The deals last all the way through August, which means they expire at 11:59 PST on August 31st.

So what are you waiting for? Dive on in and peruse whichever section you're partial to because there's sure to be something so good you'll want to snag it before the snotty kid down your block finds out about it. Then, why don't you treat yourself to a nice juicy steak with those hundreds of dollars you just saved.

"Don't just blow it all on beer!" -Mom.

This has been a public service announcement from the writers of Online Rock.

Play music, find the free and chow down.

Ray Manzerek and Robby Krieger of the Doors perform LA Woman tomorrow at Pacific Amphitheatre with vocalist Dave Brock

By Nancy Woo

The Doors' sixth and last studio album with Jim Morrison is the unrivaled L.A. Woman, a classic rock and roll masterpiece that saw only two live performances with the ubiquitous frontman before his tragic death in Paris on July 3rd, 1971 at the age of 27.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of L.A. Woman, which was noted as one of the top 500 albums of all time in Rolling Stone Magazine, original Doors guitarist Robby Krieger and keyboardist Ray Manzarek are touring with vocalist Dave Brock to commemorate the life of Jim Morrison and play L.A. Woman the way it never got to be played, along with other favorite songs from the Doors catalog. They'll be at the Orange County Pacific Amphitheatre tomorrow night, at the Whiskey A Go Go in L.A. August 19th, with a whole host of other tour dates this summer.

So who is this Dave Brock? He's actually the singer for the band Wild Child of Orange County, a Doors tribute band, and he's been playing with Krieger and Manzarek for a year now. In an interview with KLOS radio station, Krieger said that Brock is "the best they've found." Now, I'm in in love with the forever young Jim Morrison as much as they next person, but it would be fairly awesome to hear all of L.A. Woman live. Get a sneak peek at Morrison's sound-alike below, with Manzarek, Krieger and Brock at their first live performance of this tour:

So, Doors fans, put on your spontaneous hat and buy tickets for tomorrow night or check the Ray and Robby website for up-to-date information about upcoming shows.

03 August 2011

The Black Angels Announce Fall Tour In Support Of New Album, Phosphene Dream

By Nancy Woo

In support of their latest album Phosphene Dream, out now off Blue Horizon Ventures, psychedelic rockers The Black Angels will be touring the U.S. this fall, starting out in their home state of Texas and ending in Tennessee. Tickets become available August 5th, so check back on their website in a couple of days.

Out of this world, man.

The New York Times recently caught the band headlining 4Knots Festival, noting the Black Angels "play psychedelic rock as if the 1960s never ended, and they are absolute masters of it."

Yeah, speaking of the 60s, remember the Beatles' infamous last rooftop performance? Well, put on your time travel hat and enjoy The Black Angels' modern version of the rooftop approach with this live session of the song "Haunting at 1300 McKinley" off the new album:

Phosphene Dream was produced and mixed by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Wolfmother) in Los Angeles, a fresh step in a new direction, differing from the homey Austin studios that delivered their first two records. This new one presents a fresh take on the neo-Psychedelic movement they've been at the forefront of for years.

The Black Angels Fall US Tour:

08/06 - Kanrocksas - Kansas City, KS
08/27 - Whitewater Ampitheater - New Braunsfels, TX
09/24 - El Cosmico - Marfa, TX
10/13 - Fitzgerald's Upstairs - Houston, TX #
10/14 - The Prophet Bar - Dallas, TX #
10/16 - Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO #
10/17 - Fine Line Music Cafe - Minneapolis, MN #
10/19 - Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH #
10/20 - Metro - Chicago, IL #
10/21 - Headliners - Louisville, KY #
10/22 - Southgate House - Newport, KY #
10/24 - Lee's Palace - Toronto, ON #
10/25 - Cabaret Mile End - Montreal, QC #
10/26 - Middle East Downstairs - Cambridge, MA #
10/27 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA #
10/29 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY @
10/30 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY #
10/31 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY &
11/01 - The Ottobar - Baltimore, MD #
11/02 - Ziggy's - Winston-Salem, NC #
11/04 - The Masquerade (Hell Stage) - Atlanta, GA #
11/05 - Exit / In - Nashville, TN #

# with Dead Meadow & Spindrift
% with Dead Meadow
@ with Special Guest (TBD) & Spindrift
& with Psychic Ills, Exit Music

For more information, updates on tours and tickets, and links to other Black Angels goodies like a recent segment on NPR's World Cafe, visit the Black Angels website.

01 August 2011

Feist announces new album Metals out October 4

By Nancy Woo

Returning to the world stage after her 2007 breakout Grammy nominated album The Reminder, Feist announced the follow up LP is set to be released October 4th, 2011. Metals will be released off Cherrytree/Interscope records, and Feist will be touring the country to support the new album.

Leslie Feist.

Recorded in Big Sur, CA, Feist co-produced the album with longtime collaborators Chilly Gonzales and Mocky, as well as newcomer Valgeir SigurĂ°sson (Bjork, Bonnie "Prince" Billy). Like The Reminder, this album is astoundingly intimate, yet often exuberant; rife with transcendent and unforgettable pop gems.

How do we know? In a ticklishly teasing way, Feist is releasing 12 song vignettes over a period of time before the album comes out, much like counting down 'til Christmas by opening a secret door filled with chocolate every day.

Here is the #3 vignette of Feist recording in the studio:

Follow the album's progress at

Plus, bonus coloring contest from the Feist Facebook! Color in the connect-the-dots from the Metals album cover for a chance to win a Feist prize:

What could it be?